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International Democratic Education Conference returns to US

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We all dream of a society where citizens are willing and able to participate competently in democratic processes. Yet most of the schools where we ostensibly prepare our young people for the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen are fairly undemocratic places. Thus, making our schools places where the skills and competencies needed for democracy are taught and put into practice is a crucial step to achieving the society we collectively envision.

That is why I’m personally excited to share a unique opportunity for NCDD members to participate in the 21st annual International Democratic Education Conference (IDEC), which is returning to the U.S. for the first time in 10 years this August 4th-8th. You are invited to join hundreds of students, educators, practitioners, organizers, and community members in Boulder, Colorado for a 5-day exploration of democratic education, with highlighted talks from a number of leaders and pioneers from all over the world.

The IDEC is an annual gathering designed to highlight, explore, and promote the the possibilities that are unlocked when both students and teachers have a voice in what happens in a classroom.  It is a project of the International Democratic Education Network (IDEN), a network of schools, organizations, and individuals in 30 countries dedicated to the idea that if we want a truly democratic society, we need to teach and embody democracy in our schools to the fullest extent.

As someone passionate about education that empowers young people and a relative new-comer to the field of dialogue and deliberation, I focus on the connection between the amazing work being done by our NCDD members and the coming changes to the way we educate our society’s young people, and the IDEC is a perfect confluence for the two to meet.  We highly encourage NCDD members to consider attending, not only to learn more about democratic education, but to form potentially powerful connections with others who can help our work become more deeply embedded in society through schools.

Also, the IDEC is still accepting applications for sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers, and we would love to see several NCDD members taking advantage of the opportunity to gain exposure for your organization or project. There will also be opportunities for professional development, as well as college credit-granting course work, which you can learn more about here.

You can find out more on the IDEC website at www.IDEC2013.org or click here to register.  Even if you can’t come, please help spread the word to practitioners, academics, and students you think might be interested.  We hope to see some of you in Colorado this August!

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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